A standard among today’s modern cloud based EHR’s is a patient friendly, truly useful Patient Portal.

A well designed portal can add value to the patient’s overall experience and satisfaction with their provider and the practice as well. Leading to better patient care, communication and less work for the medical staff. 

We live in a highly connected, 24x7 digital world. Patient’s are like any other consumer - they want to interact with their health providers the same way they do the rest of their world - via an iPad or smartphone, at a day and time convenient for them. 

On the other side - today’s medical practices are busier than ever. Having to do more with fewer resources means looking for low cost, effective ways to engage with their patients. A perfect opportunity to deploy a technology solution - enter the Patient Portal! 

A good portal is easy to use, secure, convenient, and can be used from any device. It allows patients to check on all aspects of their care and communicate with the practice. The benefit to the practice is substantially decreased provider and staff time and more importantly increases overall patient satisfaction. 

A Patient Friendly Portal Provides Benefits such as:

  • New patient registration, update existing patient information

  • Secure messaging to and from the practice

  • View and Sign the practice policies and forms

  • View lab results

  • Request refills

  • Enter their history and ROS (get rid of that clipboard!)

  • View and pay their bills online

  • Receive text and email appointment reminders

  • Online check in

But despite all the great reasons to use one many practices struggle to get their patients to use the portal. 

Following are some suggested strategies and ideas to spur adoption and use of a portal in your practice: 

  1. Make the portal a vital tool for patients and office staff.
    Explain to patients that the portal is how you will communicate with them. Many practices make portal registration mandatory.

  2. Make the portal useful to patients:
    Commit to a fast response to patient inquiries. Once patients experience a fast response they’ll feel more comfortable and trusting of the technology, driving continued usage.

  3. Show and Tell:
    1. Have a staff member sit with patients and guide them through their enrollment and first visit to your portal. An inexpensive computer or better yet - an iPad in the waiting room is a great option.

    2. Use the portal in the waiting room to have patients check in for that days appointment

    3. Review with the patient their abs or other areas of their chart you want them to see

    4. Take it to the next level - assist patients with getting a free Gmail account if they don’t have an email address!

Take advantage of the fact the patient is in your office, guide them through their first visit

  1. Involve your whole office:
    1. Front desk - remind them of the portal and help them sign up

    2. Providers - refer to it during the exam, explain that’s how you’ll communicate with them

    3. Check out - Let them know they can pay their bill online and remind them of the secure messaging for questions

  2. Incorporate the portal login into your practice website

  3. Send announcements via the portal - “Closed tomorrow due to weather”

  4. Create signage for your waiting and exam rooms to remind patients


Getting patients to more actively and effectively use your portal may take some short term pains - but will definitely provide long term gains, for your patient’s, office staff and you!


AVS Medical

Written by AVS Medical